If Eskom cuts off power to non-payers then there would, in all likelihood, be no need for load-shedding. The power utility said that 30% of its generating capacity is presently being stolen or has not been paid for.
And the 30% is more than the deficit which results in load-shedding. Eskom calls it non-technical losses. It explained: “Non-technical losses refer to electricity theft, non-payment by customers, meter tampering, unauthorised operations and even vandalism.”
With non-technical losses continuing to grow and the operational costs accelerating, Eskom takes further financial strain as they have to keep repairing, refurbishing or replacing infrastructure that breaks or is frequently vandalised.
Eskom is losing billions of rands from illegal connections and all other non-technical losses.
It amounts to around 13 500 megawatts out of a total of about 45 000 megawatts in generating capacity. If Eskom managed to collect unpaid bills and snip illegal connections, then power outages would be less intensified.
Communities are in a position to avoid premature equipment failure resulting in unplanned and extended outages by refraining from conducting illegal electricity-related acts.
Members of the public should report criminal activities such as illegal connections, theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure to the authorities or to the Eskom Crime Line on 0800 112 722.
Picture: City of Cape Town